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University of Minnesota Extension

Species guide - species detail

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Coelioxys alternata (Cuckoo bee)



Coelioxys is a genus in the Family Megachilidae that consists of cuckoo bees. Instead of building their own nests, these bees enter the nest of another bee and lay their eggs in the host cells. The Coelioxys larvae displace the host larvae and grow in their place.


Coelioxys all have relatively long abdomens that taper to a distinctive point. They are generally less hairy than other bees, and females have no pollen collecting hairs, as they do not collect pollen or build nests.

Nest Structure

Hosts: In Bee Atlas project this bee has been reared from M. pugnata nests. Medler (1964) reported rearing Coelioxys alternata from trap nests provisioned by Megachile (Sayapis) pugnata pugnata.

Hole Sizes

No information at this time.


No information at this time.

Activity Period

No information at this time.


Baker J. R. 1975. Taxonomy of five nearctic subgenera of Coelioxys (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). The University of Kansas Science Bulletin 50(12):649-730.

Minnesota Record Map

These data are from the Minnesota Bee Atlas project.

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